CINCINNATI -- With four relievers unavailable for the series finale against the Reds on Thursday, the Pirates recalled right-hander Duke Welker to provide an extra arm in the bullpen. To make room for Welker, the club optioned outfielder Alex Presley to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Manager Clint Hurdle previously had backed away from adding a pitcher, especially considering he'll need a designated hitter in the lineup during the team's five-game American League West trip beginning Friday against the Angels.
But after four relievers threw 5 1/3 innings in Wednesday's 13-inning loss, Hurdle made the move to bring in Welker. Hurdle said the length of Welker's stay with the Pirates will depend largely on how Thursday's game plays out, as Vin Mazzaro and Justin Wilson aren't likely to pitch the next two days.
In 25 appearances (35 2/3 innings) for Indianapolis this season, Welker has gone 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA. He's shown the ability to extend himself, giving up only one hit in three innings on June 9. He also has three saves in four chances.
"He can give us some volume if we need to push," Hurdle said of Welker.
Welker was called up on May 8, but he was sent back down three days later without making an appearance. He has yet to make his Major League debut.
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.